I started to get close to him when I was assigned the badminton beat in early 2006. I do believe we have a good friendship, based on mutual trust and respect – knowing when to push him for stories and when to give him space whenever he wants to be left alone.
Rexy is also an emotional man. Few can forget his public show of sadness when his players failed to contribute points in the team event during the 2006 Asian Games in Doha. Trust me when I say that it was not an act, but genuine tears from someone who was truly hurting inside.
I got in touch with him yesterday, our first contact after his two double pairs were eliminated from semi-finals of the just concluded World Championship in Hyderabad.
I could sense a tinge of regrets, maybe even disappointments, from the tone of his SMSes. Indirectly, I could conclude that Rexy feels all the hard work put in by him and his assistants were being ridiculed, undermined and questioned by some quarters in Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and National Sports Council (NSC).
I know Rexy is not someone who likes to ‘create trouble’. He would prefer that his work, through the performance of his players, be the judge. But the latest episode, if there are some truths in it, is indeed troubling.
Maybe top people in BAM or NSC should take a look at this.